david hoffman

Neon Trees – Pop Psychology (Album Review)

There’s some wit here, and even smart anecdotes on our social media-driven culture, which will keep listeners thinking while they tap their feet, but with uninspired music backing that type of sharp cultural reflection, the result is a somewhat hollow offering from a band that’s shown they’re capable of much more.

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The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars eponymous second record, likely exemplifying the irony of their band name better now than ever, is an intensely melancholy and yet genre-expanding contribution from a band we may never hear from again.

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Rufus Wainwright: 9:30 Club, Washington, DC 02/12/2013

One leaves a Rufus Wainwright concert torn between the terrible choice of giving in to their desire to listen to songs they just heard as album versions set against the stark reality that the version they heard live will almost certainly cause the audio version to pale in comparison– and this goes even for solo shows like the one at the 9:30 Club.

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Local Natives: Hummingbird

On their sophomore release Hummingbird, Local Natives engage listeners in an unexpectedly mature and serious album that divides its time well between showcasing vocals, instrumentation and emphasizing emotional melodies.

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The Lumineers: DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, DC 01/30/2013

No one knows how long the indie-folk moment The Lumineers are spearheading will stay aflame but with performances, and sold out shows like this audiences will likely be able to see a progression and hopefully a maturation from the jam-based folksy energy into something more.

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The Lighthouse and The Whaler: This Is An Adventure

Authenticity, among other things, drives this album, and this band, to bridge the gulf between west-coast sunshine-pop and mid-west folksy rock. With the energy of youth and the buoyancy of hope and possibility, The Lighthouse and The Whaler deliver here with an engaging sound that shows room to grow and mature and will hopefully carry forward and be enhanced by their solid production, passionate lyrics and innovative instrumentation.

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Passion Pit: Gossamer

On Gossamer, Passion Pit is taking a step forward in craftsmanship, genre-bending experimentation and delivering once again a powerful and enjoyable album experience.

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